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Monotional Monologue In Andre's Mother By Terrence Mcnalally

Decent Essays
Andre’s Mother by Terrence McNally is a play written in 1988 describing a mother’s emotional farewell to her son who has died from AIDS. In the story, Andre’s mother has joined Andre’s surviving partner Cal, and Cal’s father and sister, to pay their her respects to her son. Each will release a white helium balloon to represent their final goodbye. We quickly learn that Andre’s mother was neither aware of her son’s sexual orientation nor his illness. Cal discloses, “When he was sick, if I asked him once I asked him a thousand times, tell her. She’s your mother” (350).
While considerably short, McNally’s work encapsulates the mother’s dual struggle regarding homosexuality and AIDS and, moreover, society’s at large. Andre’s mother
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This forward momentum was stopped in the early 1980’s, however, when an unexplained form of pneumonia began being reported in homosexual men (Gay Rights).
HIV and AIDS was virtually undocumented prior to the 1980’s. In 1981 and 1982, there were sporadic cases of gay men developing immune deficiency illnesses resulting in death. In 1982, the CDC, for the first time, used the term AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). In 1983, the disease was confirmed in female sexual partners of men with the disease. Additionally, initial cases of newborn children acquiring the disease through their mothers were documented and, while the CDC confirmed that the disease could not be contracted through casual contact, the suspicion and fear of the public only grew (History of HIV and AIDS).
The AIDS epidemic proved to be the perfect storm for an already maligned group. Those determined to persecute gays used the virus as vindication for their prejudice, for example, it was ridiculously suggested that the virus was God’s way of punishing gay men for their sexual sins. Much of the progress made in earlier decades was reversed and, while the virus could be contracted through blood transfusion and heterosexual activities, it was broadly considered a gay disease. Ignorance eclipsed compassion. Public health policies were not as aggressive in combating the disease as they would have been with more
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